Yankees manager Joe Girardi told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch that he expects catcher Brian McCann to be activated off the disabled list this Saturday.
McCann was cleared to resume baseball activities Tuesday after passing another concussion test. He has been on the 7-day disabled list since August 9.
The Yankees — currently 2 1/2 games back of an American League Wild Card spot — need McCann to be much more productive down the stretch in his first year of a five-year, $85 million free agent contract.
McCann, 30, has batted just .238/.294/.384 with 13 home runs and 49 RBI through 103 games this season for New York.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.